Where to buy plants in Sydney
The Royal Botanic Gardens is a great place to get lost and if you’ve ever meandered a little too far beyond the succulent garden you may have stumbled across the rows of seedlings in their publicly accessible nursery. Specialising in natives, you can pick up a baby plant propagated by volunteers from the garden’s living collection for as little as $2.50, smug in the knowledge that you are the parent of a rare botanical species. The money raised from the nursery goes back into the garden’s conservation efforts too. Extra smug points.
You can’t help but be drawn to this cute cottage filled to the brim with succulents, ferns and leafy terrariums. They tendril their way through the red-trimmed doors and windows of the heritage house where Plantify has taken up residence, luring plant-lovers into the warm forest sanctuary within. Once inside, you’ll find more carefully curated greenery. Some plants come in the standard black plastic pots, while others have already been lovingly planted in ceramics. Prices vary depending on species and if plants are already housed. If you dig their floaty, good witch aesthetic, they also sell pots, planters and other garden paraphernalia in the store.
This a mega-market for plant hunters, they have all the supplies, soils and accessories you need alongside native and exotic seedlings, fruit and veg starters, and full grown trees. The prices are also lower than most bigger nurseries and there’s an on-site café for injecting caffeine into your botanical excursion. The Flower Power at Enfield may have a pet store and bird aviary, but head to the mascot outpost for regular terrarium and succulent workshops as well as info sessions on how to care for your flora mates.
This tiny shop front on a corner opposite the National Art School packs a lot of lush greenery into very limited space. The savvy use of footpath and tight interior serve to demonstrate just how much jungle you can fit into inner-city abodes and it’s hard to resist wanting to replicate the store’s set-up in your bedroom. The range of indoor and outdoor plants is extensive, but curated, and the personable service makes this a confident purchase point for tentative gardeners without a garden. It’s also perfect for last minute gifts, with tasteful ceramic pots and a focus on low-fuss indoor leaves.
On the posher end of the neighbourhood nursery scale, Garden Life is all about landscaping with an aesthetic edge. The pots, water features and ornamental accoutrements here are beautiful and, if you can afford it, you could be sashaying through an IRL lifestyle magazine shoot in your own home. It's the perfect place to pick up that camera-ready monstera deliciosa for the corner of the lounge room or find a cool antique brass planter for that plastic-clad cactus you’ve been ignoring in your yard. Garden Life also has design and installation services so you can skip the hard yakka and pay them to stylishly spiff up your garden without lifting a thumb.
This cute block of greenery in the tiny urban village of Annandale has been supplying locals with plant smarts and goods since 1980. Head to this garden centre for a huge range of indoor and outdoor plants and a variety of endangered and rare species from around the country. They were also recently featured on a Catalyst episode about the importance of bees, so you know they know their stuff.
Though Heathcote is stretching it in terms of ‘Sydney’, this May Gibbs wonderland is worth a potter around if you’re ever in the area. The grounds of this native plant purveyor have an enchanted bush vibe and it’s the perfect place to pick up some wattle, kangaroo paw or banksia and start building the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie habitat of your dreams. The Sydney Wildflower folk also specialise in bush foods and can give you advice on growing native ingredients at home
This nursery’s cartoon butterfly adorned walls are hard to miss if you’re driving through St Peters, and beyond the mascot’s euphoric glare lies a thriving selection of flowering pots, seedlings and healthy full-grown plants. Butterfly Blooms is a family run business and the staff boast over 30 years of experience in advising the plant lovers of Sydney. It’s also only an eight-minute walk from Sydenham Station, so if you’re car-less this is a great place to pick up a transportable succulent or bonsai from their extensive range and carry it home on the train.
If you're not local to Campbelltown, Tim’s is worth the drive for entertainment alone. This nursery has a resident pig statue that sits out the front and shares its thoughts on a giant sign for passers by to enjoy. Tim Pickles is the ‘Tim’ of this horticultural marketplace and he plies the public with his own specialty magic potting mix and even has a signature breed of fruit fly resistant tomato you can nab seedlings of. Plants come in great batch deals (four native seedlings for $20) and the selections are divided into zones for perusing with ease.
This tiny pocket of a nursery shows that size doesn't matter when it comes to quality. Newtown Garden Market embrace their truncated size and even proudly display the tagline "little oasis in a big city" on their website to prove it. Smaller is better in this instance because the plant display here gets a more overgrown and lush quality, like shopping in a pocket jungle. There are plants over your head, plants below you, and plants joyfully popping out of the walls at you compelling you to take them home.
Located in both Bondi Junction and Mosman, the Honeysuckle nurseries are certainly doing something right as they collect as many industry awards as they have plants. The business has been running in some incarnation since 1977 so you know you’re in good hands when enquiring about the longevity of your new green acquisition. They have a great range of species and a section with the most chic ‘luxury hoses’ we’ve ever encountered.
Eden Gardens is a nursery, florist, café, family play area and sculpture park spread over several hectares. The fenced play area features a beehive cubby house, and the display gardens feature waterfalls, archways and bridges. A popular venue for weddings and events, Eden Gardens offers services for green thumbs including a plant doctor, backyard briefing, plant ID check-ups and soil testing. They host workshops on topics such as flower arranging, terrariums and kokodamas, and an annual sculpture show.